The Cubs travel back to Arizona this weekend for a four game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. It’s like a homecoming of sorts for the Cubs since they only just left spring training one week ago.
Of course, the Cubs didn’t have much success in the win column during spring training (11-19-2), which doesn’t matter much. They did have success in getting their starters solid work and getting them stretched out, giving the bullpen and reserves – including minor league guys – lots of playing time, and getting out of spring training with a relatively healthy squad. That, to me, is the definition of spring training success for a team with such lofty expectations.
Game Times & Broadcast Info
- Thursday, April 7 at 8:40 PM CDT on CSN+
- Friday, April 8 at 8:40 PM CDT on WGN
- Saturday, April 9 at 7:10 PM CDT on CSN
- Sunday, April 10 at 3:10 PM CDT on WGN
|Dbacks||Robby De La Rosa||27||R||4.67||2.38|
What to Watch For
- The Cubs look to continue their hot start, coming off the series sweep in Anaheim. I’m looking for Kris Bryant, Jason Heyward, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber to start hitting in this series. They were a combined 1 for 27 in the Angels series and we all know that is not going to continue. I’m looking for another high scoring series from the Cubs.
- John Lackey, Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks all get their first starts of the 2016 regular season. I’m excited to see each of these guys go. I’m eager to see Lackey in his first start as a Cub. I’m also looking forward to see if Kyle Hendricks can improve over a decent 2015 campaign. I have pretty high hopes for Kyle this year and, from what he showed us this spring, believe he could be a top ten pitcher in the National League.
- Jake Arrieta will pitch on Sunday, after his dominating performance on Monday against the Angels. We’d obviously love to see Jake crush it again but know this can’t last forever…or maybe it can.
- The Diamondbacks are playing without their starting Center Fielder, A.J. Pollack, who fractured his right elbow late in spring training. They’re platooning in center field between Chris Owings (24) who is a converted infielder from previous years, and Socrates Brito (23) an outfielder with limited major league experience. On paper, this appears to be one of the Dbacks weakest positions.
- Zach Greinke pitched on opening day with the flu and boy did it show. He got smacked around and lasted only 4 innings while giving up seven runs, nine hits – including three home runs, one walk and two strikeouts. He’s slated to start on Sunday but that’s not certain. We’ll update you as soon as we hear more.
* Starting pitcher stats are from 2016 only if the pitcher has started a game, otherwise the stats listed are from the 2015 season. In this table Jake Arrieta, Zach Greinke and Shelby Miller are all 2016 stats.